I recently was recommended and gifted a book, The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster by Darren Hardy, by my friend Juan. Normally, I do not directly study entrepreneurship specifically, but it is similar to books that I normally read on self-improvement because it does cover principles in success and motivation. Darren Hardy is not only a best-selling author and successful entrepreneur but a keynote speaker who works with Success Magazine.
There was a part of this book that made me feel I should do some homework and I would like to share it with you. Hardy talks about how he interviewed Maria Shriver and asked his routine question of, “What is your definition of success?” and was taken back by the answer enough to realize he had not adequately defined it for himself until then.
In turn, this made me want to take the time to define success and what it means to me, which I am sharing here along with how you can do the same.
At its roots, I would define success as: the feeling of fulfillment in any particular area in life. Success can be reached through any goals that you may have. Everyone’s definition is different based on what makes them feel fulfilled and what they want to accomplish; it also changes regularly.
If you want to define what success is for you, you can think of three things (this was taken from my friend, Juan, who gifted me The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster, which he says are the three things that he focuses on when pursuing goals):
And ask yourself the following questions:
Challenge yourself to think critically about contribution. Juan says this is the most critical of the three and I agree with him. Whether that contribution is a positive impact that you want to make on friends, family, or to any cause that you’re passionate about. Money is not a great, lasting motivator but giving back to someone or something you’re passionate about is.
What is success to me, currently?
So ask yourself: what does success mean to me? This is a great exercise to do before you sit down and write down the goals that you currently have in mind. It also helps you realize what you are truly passionate about so on days that you wonder why you continue to work hard, you can keep this in mind and remember your why.
I’ll repeat a key thing that I’ve learned from my endeavors and learning from highly successful people – money is not a great, lasting motivator but giving back to someone or something you’re passionate about is. Of course, finances are still a part of it and they’re important to everyone to some extent. But the things you’re passionate about (why you’re doing what you’re doing) is what really pushes you at the end of the day. If you’re doing something solely for money, you won’t be successful or happy long-term.
If you decide to challenge yourself and write down your definition of success, feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments below or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear your thoughts on this or to assist in any way I can. Share this post on social media if you find it helpful to you. You never know, it may help someone else too.
1. The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster by Darren Hardy - p. 75-78
About, Other, Personal
As you may know, I recently announced my upcoming book which should be complete by the start of next year. The purpose of this post is to give you an idea of what exactly the book is about and how it will be formatted. This book is a series of biographies that includes all of the experts that I've researched as well as all of the tips and tricks that I discovered while doing my research. The list of experts involved, a quick description of their backgrounds, and the amount of research done on each of them can be seen in my About Twelve Paths Page. All are involved in health and fitness in some fashion, whether they are nutritionists, physical therapists, or strength and conditioning coaches. Each biography is between 10-15 pages long, describing the following:
The purpose of the book is to take everything I've learned from these individuals over the past couple years of deep research and spell it all out to help you learn how you can improve your health and fitness and possibly find experts that you would like to follow as well.
Below, I will share with you the current version of the "From the Author" introduction of the book...
If you have any comments or questions, please comment below. I'd really appreciate any input you might have. I have all of the biographies written and am currently working on the final editing, formatting, etc.
If you have not already, please help me in deciding a title of my book by clicking this link.
If you know others who would be interested in this book or blog, share the post on. You can also subscribe to my blog by going to my Contact Page and entering your email address. I do not spam subscribers but simply let them know when new posts are up or if there is big news related to the blog.
Thank you for reading!
Here's to my first year researching the world of health and fitness! Here are all the books that I read related to this subject and this is only the start. I know it does not look like much for a year's worth but if you go to my About page, you'll see that there is much more that goes into the research than just the books. Plus many of these books are around 400 pages in length and I take notes while I am reading.
It's amazing how much these experts have to teach. They are not only experts in their field but leaders who have affected millions of peoples' lives while working their tails off creating content and helping their communities in all different ways. One of my main goals is to research experts from all different disciplines and focuses - from nutritionists to strength coaches/personal trainers to physical therapists so that I can get a full understanding and compare their beliefs and practices.
One amazing thing to me is how many similarities many (if not all of them) have that I think we can all learn from:
Some of these experts are all about eating a high fat diet and being able to burn fat for fuel, some focus more on a plant-based diet, and some say you should focus on getting enough protein while eating a well-distributed mixture of carbohydrates and fats. None of these individuals are wrong - each side has its specific benefits and different diets work better for different people. Experiment with what works best for you and your goals. A lot of times, the best diet for you is the diet you can stick to. As I've said before, something these experts have taught me is how to live happily whether I am on a diet of 1,500 calories per day or 3,500 calories per day.
I look forward to continuing my research and experimenting more with different diets and exercise programs to really find what works best for me. To give a bit of a sneak peak, I'll let you know the expert I have started to research now - Greg Nuckols of Stronger by Science. Greg is a young expert and powerlifter who goes deep into the science of what works best for hypertrophy and strength training while also having plenty of anecdotal evidence by being a strength coach himself.
Lastly, I apologize for the delay in posts, I did not get to post last week so I need to make that up. I see many exciting things around Twelve Paths in the year to come!
Thank you for reading this, go to my Contact page and subscribe if you are not on my email list already!
I realize this is almost a year old but I just recently got these results from my doctor since I never received a call about the results being in or to set up my next appointment - so I called and requested they'd be sent to me.
The main two things I want to look at are blood glucose and lipid profile. I'll also evaluate my numbers based on Dr. Catherine Shanahan's recommendations. Dr. Cate is a highly respected nutrition expert who has been a physician most of her life.
Since the images may be difficult to see, I'll spell everything out.
A couple things to note:
My fasting blood glucose: 59 mg/dL
Normal range: 60-99 mg/dL
ADA guidelines on blood glucose: < 100 mg/dL = Normal, 100-25 = Impaired, > 125 = Diabetic
Even though my blood glucose is "low", I believe if I had only been fasting for about 12 hours, my blood sugar would have likely in the 60-65 range. It is good to know that, next time I experiment with fasting, if I go past 20 hours fasted then I will want to closely monitor my blood glucose so it does not get much lower than that.
My Results vs. Target:
Total Cholesterol = 173 mg/dL (< 200 = Target)
Triglyceride = 32 mg/dL (< 150 = Normal)
HDL = 72 mg/dL (> 60 = High)
LDL = 95 mg/dL (< 100 = Optimal)
non HDL = 101 mg/dL (30 above LDL goal = Target)
To me, this is nothing to worry about. My HDL shows as slightly high but from what I've heard from experts, people (especially my age) should not be too alarmed by numbers being slightly high.
Dr. Cate's Standards
Dr. Cate also states that if your fasting blood glucose is > 89, that may be a sign that you are pre-diabetic and, for her patients, she suggests to eat < 100g of carbohydrates per day (p. 214-215 Deep Nutrition).
My girlfriend, Taylor, was nice enough to get my 23andme done a couple years ago. Back then, I wasn't anywhere as close to as interested in looking at all the health information you can find with your genes as I am now.
I recently heard of the website Promethease.com from an interview with Ben Greenfield. Promethease is a website that you can import your "raw data" from 23andme and get a ton more information; relating your SNPs (or "snips"), which are some of your genetic variations, to scientific publications like those found in PubMed. It was $12 to do but it's well worth it because of the amount of information you get and I based my trust in the data on how many publications were related. Here are some examples of what it told me...
Folic Acid Defficiency
This data was linked to 232 different publications through Promethease which was more than any other data so I definitely think this is an important one. Folic acid is found in spinach and other green vegetables, bread, rice, beans, and citrus fruits. Deficiencies are connected to lacks of cognitive function, depression, and various cancers.
I plan on adding more spinach, rice, and beans to my diet daily to make up for this.
Lack of Empathy
This is very interesting because I actually was given constructive criticism today that in meetings I am too analytical and straightforward and that I may have offended someone in our past construction meeting. I 100% agree with, "When under stress you may have more difficulty recognizing emotional state of others"... I get nervous speaking at a table of over about 6-7 people (especially if I don't know them too well) and I get stressed out to the point where I derail myself and things don't come out the way I wish they did and I definitely come off as a bit of an ass... Taylor would probably say I always have lack of empathy...
When I was talking to my coworker, I was telling him something like Toastmasters would be great for me to get more comfortable with public speaking. I really should look into doing this.
High Fasting Blood/Glucose
I have actually seen this first-hand with my blood/glucose monitor! I've wondered why when I wake up 10hrs fasted I'll be over 90 mg/dl on some days; when if I fast for 20 hours, I always get under 70 mg/dl. I'll have to check what it is when I fast 10hrs during the day and not overnight but I think it will be lower because my blood/glucose usually only reaches mid-90s or higher after I've eaten a meal with heavy carbohydrates.
I have not noticed any gut issues related to milk but I was never a heavy milk-drinker. The higher risk of heart attack/brain aneurysm is good to know but definitely a little scary.. The male-patterned baldness, on the other hand is just a truth. I'll probably have a bald head soon enough because I hate how much I'm starting to bald.
Some other good things to look out for that I got from Promethease were:
Overall, even though a lot of this information is negative, I believe all of these things that I've shared are legitimate things to pay attention to when I relate my blood levels to my diet. Much of this is related to ancestry and I think that is important to pay attention to when it comes to diet.
The most important thing to think of when it comes to this thing is that genes can only cause 5-10% of diseases, all other diseases are from your lifestyle. You can change your "likeliness" to get just about any disease or most traits by paying attention to your diet and exercise habits.
Recently, I was asked if I feel like I'm missing out/suffering at all by being health conscious. My answer is definitely not.. I eat just as much on a standard day as I did before I was health conscious, I just stay away from processed foods, sugar, and most high-carbohydrate foods. I used to drink juice instead of water and I didn't think much at all about what was good for me to eat.
Here's a sample of what goes in my lunchbox when I go to work - so everything up until around dinner time.
1 Cup of Mixed Nuts
1 Health Warrior Bar
Salad (2-3 cups spinach w/ 7oz Ribeye Steak & Caesar dressing)
Carrots w/ Ranch dressing
The Health Warrior bar and carrots w/ ranch are a new addition since I am trying to bulk up and added some calories to my diet. I may only include them on heavier workout days. These Health Warrior Bars are the only bars that I have found that appear to be all natural, grain-free, taste good, and don't have too many carbohydrates or protein.
I'm only showing all this to show how diverse your nutrition plan can still be when you avoid processed foods and sugars. The salad dressings are definitely the worst part of all this. Almost all salad dressings besides select brands are created with heavily processed oils like soybean oil, or even worse, vegetable oil. It's important to stay away from these as much as possible. If there is one thing I need to change about my diet is sauces and dressings - I eat a ton of extra virgin olive oil because I dilute my dressings with it but I need to learn how to create my own dressings.
My workout system needs to be more structured with my nutrition plan tied in. For now, I’ll keep the point system but my focus will be:
My workouts will go in that order and 1 full Workout, whether upper or lower will be 4 sets of 4.
If I only have time for 3 sets of 3 or 3 sets of 4, I plan to make it up with 1 either:
For nutrition, here will be some keys:
I’m not as worried about carbohydrates. I’m glad I started by limiting carbs because it got me away from most processed foods. I will still strictly limit gluten and sugar, but eat more carbohydrates through things like sweet potatoes.
Yes, I do give myself 1 cheat meal each week and I try to stick to no more than that. My cheat meal this week was a gluten-free meatlover’s pizza from from a good local place across the street from me.
Half the reason why I got it was that I was excited to test heart rate and blood glucose changes when I eat foods that aren’t very “healthy.”
Heart Rate average (90min range before eating) - 60bpm
Blood/glucose (30min before eating) - 70 dg/L
Heart rate average - 75bpm
Blood/glucose (both 40min and 1hr after eating) - 105dg/L
For blood/glucose this really isn’t bad at all - it’s very normal and shows a low level of fat storage but not much. I don’t see any different numbers when I’ve tested with chicken salads.
For Heart Rate, 75 is still considerably low for a Heart Rate so it is definitely nothing to worry about but it is interesting to see how eating something can change my overall heart rate for 90 minutes after eating.
Today is the first time I’ve really checked my heart rate using my Apple Watch - here are my numbers:
Even though I feel like the Apple Watch and this app are not the best monitors and I can get a lot more information from other devices, I can still learn a lot from this. Given what I learned from the podcast I shared in the last blog post, it is great that my heart rate has high highs and low lows - when I need high energy I can access it and when I need to calm down I can do that as well, in a short range of time. I noticed when I would try to look at my watch and take a momentary heart rate, I would slow my heart rate down to mid-50s so I can’t get an accurate reading that way, that’s why I just took averages over an hour/90 minutes in the data above.
I’ll also share with you all the blood/glucose readings I’ve taken so far:
All of the high numbers are either right when I wake up or 2 hours after eating. The lows are all after not eating for at least 5 hours (a couple are actually at the end of a 22hr fast!)
All of these numbers seem like good numbers to me! Someone might say that 70 is very low but if I have no hypoglycemic symptoms and I feel fine, I think I’m managing the low-carb diet well and it has been treating me well too!
Starting a few weeks ago, I started dabbling in intermittent fasting.
1 or 2 days a week I will go 22 hours without eating. For an example, once I finish dinner at 8PM, I will hold off the next day until I get back from work at 6PM if not later. Each time I do this, it gets easier. The only things I will consume during this 22hr period is green tea and a tablespoon or two of MCT oil and/or coconut oil. If you are not on a similar diet and this seems like a crazy idea, that probably means you are not ready to jump into fasting for that long.
Benefits from intermittent fasting have been explained by multiple experts that I follow - Shawn Stevenson, Peter Attia, Jocko Willink, and others. It seems to be a tool used by many keto dieters. Intermittent fasting has been shown to do things such as increase lifespan (by upwards of 30%), build metabolic flexibility, generate stem cells. and enhance neurological function.
About a week ago, I also started using a blood/glucose monitor.
This helps me get to know how foods and things like fasting influence the amount of glucose in my bloodstream. Your body is either storing fat or burning fat, it obviously cannot do both at the same time and the blood/glucose meter shows which of those two stages your body is in.
My average blood/glucose is around 90 - even 2hrs after a large meal. When I wake up, it is higher to 95. When I am fasting, after 22hrs, it is around 70 dg/L.
Today, I just started trying cold thermogensis, thanks to Ben Greenfield. Benefits of this are quicker recovery, a boost in neurological function, and longevity. All of these are shown to be affected dramatically!
Every morning is typically the same.
Before I go to work I do my workout.
Before I do my workout, I take 1 tablespoon of MCT oil and 1 serving of pre-workout (which right now is Lit - a GMC product). Once I'm done with my workout, I will take 10,000 IUs of Vitamin D and 1000mg of Krill Oil (Jocko Super Krill by Origin Maine). These supplements are known to help several things including immune system, neurological function, and joint health.
When I am fasting or feeling a need for more fats/energy in my diet I will add a tablespoon or two of MCT oil or coconut oil to my green tea.
I'm sure there will be more supplements to come but I try to get most of my nutrients like fiber from my heavy dose of vegetables each day. I've learned from multiple experts like Steven Gundry and Peter Attia that oils are also very important so I soak my salads in olive oil as well and use a good amount amount of coconut oil when I am cooking. Science has showed that this diet is great using cholesterol to your advantage.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.